Today, we’re excited to announce the opening of the public beta test period for the next generation WormBase website!
About the Design
The new website has been redesigned from the ground up with the following objectives:
* Easily handle many species and populations;
* Present the full extent of experimental data in C. elegans in customizable displays without presenting overwhelming amounts of unrequested data;
* Engage users with new opportunities for directly adding, commenting on, and correcting annotations;
* Provide support for under-served research communities;
* Be accessible to users from different backgrounds (researchers, educators, students);
* Be rock solid, stable, maintainable, and easy for anyone to extend;
* Be fast and easy to scale as demand warrants and database size increases.
Here’s a short list of some of the site’s features:
* Customizable content: pick what you want to see, ignore the rest;
* Customizable layout: arrange and rearrange as you see fit;
* Create an account and save your favorite items, or use a Google, Facebook, or Twitter account;
* Entirely new, more informative displays that make it faster to get desired information in fewer clicks. See, for example, the allele listing on the Gene Summary;
* History tracking;
* Persistent site preferences from device to device;
* Public comments and issue reporting;
* Direct chat with curators;
* Powerful new global database search option;
* For data miners, a complete RESTful API: every piece of information in WormBase uniquely addressable. More on this in subsequent blog posts.
About the Public Beta period
Although we’re really excited to introduce the site, please do watch your step.
There are many features that we are actively working on and many more that we will be rolling out shortly. We are also gauging real-world performance so that we can make improvements and enhancements to the architecture before the public production release in January. That said, we think that at its current state of development, the site is stable, useable, and useful.
And if you have a chance, please take our User Survey.
What’s in store
We have a huge number of new features and enhancements in store for the new website, but we wanted to get the site in your hands now to start collecting feedback on the content and look-and-feel.
Help us out
Be sure to leave comments and report issues! And if you or your lab are interested in participating in focus group testing, please drop me a line (firstname.lastname@example.org).
September – November: Iterative development and testing; focus groups
January 2011 – Launch new website on www.wormbase.org
April 2012 – Retire original WormBase site